You are currently viewing Chiropractic Care and  Brain Function

Chiropractic Care and Brain Function

Your brain controls EVERY function of your body. It is constantly sending and receiving signals to and from your body. When this signal feedback loop is altered in any way, it changes how the brain and body communicate.

Chiropractic care has been demonstrated to enhance the signal integration of your brain with your body.

The effects of stress on your brain and body

A long-held academic theory is that increased stress in your body produces an environment conducive to dis-ease, which eventually results in the manifestation of disease within the body. Etiologies for increased stress can include chemical, physical, or mental/emotional stressors. When your body is under stress, it turns on your ‘fight or flight’ survival mode by altering the function of your cardiovascular and endocrine systems, in anticipation of increased, intense activity. This ‘fight or flight’ response turns on the sympathetic tone of your nervous system. Increased sympathetic tone causes a release of stress hormones, including increased cortisol, epinephrine, and adrenalin. These same chemicals are also released when we exercise, or experience anxiety. While this sympathetic tone is expected and normal over a short duration, in excess and/or prolonged duration it causes exhaustion in the body and leads to dis-ease.

‘Efferent neurological flow’ is the term to describe the information sent from the brain to your muscles, tissues, and organs. The flow of information back to the brain from your skin, your muscles, joints and organ receptors are called ‘afferent flow of information’. These neurological afferent/efferent loops are the mechanisms that your body uses to respond to changes in your environment.

An excess of stress hormones in your body contributes to decreased immunity, taxed adrenal glands, inefficient digestive function, fatigue, and blood pressure variations. Cortisol levels can adversely relax your ligaments by stripping proteins from the structures of your tendons and ligaments, resulting in weakness through the entire body, especially your spine and extremities. This puts the spine and extremities at risk for injury.

Subluxation is a term that describes compression and irritation to the spinal nerves and joints. Subluxations alter the afferent/efferent neurological loops, which in turn alter the rhythms of neurological flow. Trauma, poor posture, or increased chemical, physical, and emotional stress are all potential causes for subluxations. Subluxations create physical stresses in the body, which then contribute to the sympathetic tone, shifting the body to ‘fight or flight’ tone. This stress response will continue until the subluxations are corrected.

Chiropractic care stops the stress response

Studies show that chiropractic adjustments bring your neurological afferent/efferent processes from sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ tone, into parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ tone. To draw a comparison, the chiropractic adjustment is akin to restarting your computer. Just as your computer reloads its operating system, your body is allowed a quick pause so that it can reprocess itself.

Chiropractic adjustments end the stress responses in your body and bring your hormonal and cardiovascular functions back to homeostasis. This then allows the body to begin to reprocess and start repairing the damage that was incurred by prolonged stress.

Researchers have demonstrated that chiropractic care enhances sensory-motor integration, which is the body’s ability to coordinate complex movements in response to perceptions of where the body is in space and time.

With this improved intelligence in spatial assessment, the body can then move with better coordination, mobility, and physical and mental balance, which translates into increased speed, better skills, and smooth mechanical execution.